The Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust (Reg. Charity 1124683) was the first (and still the only) canine organisation to receive Lottery Funding for a dog related activity, when it opened its Canine Sports Faculty for Agility & Flyball in Kensworth, Bedfordshire, two years ago. Over the last six months the trust has been in private talks with the Big Lottery Fund to expand the funding to include the new Canine Sport of Rally Obedience.
The new facility which will open late January 2013 will be funded by the Big Lottery Fund and will provide training classes for Rally Obedience. For under 18’s, over 65’s and anyone on a low income the classes will be free and for anyone else wanting to take part there will be a minimal fee.
The funding proposal and agreement have been negotiated by the trusts Chief Executive, Gary Gregory and although the amount is currently undisclosed, it is known it will pay for the new training facility, equipment and venue. Gary said today “We are over the moon that the Big Lottery Fund has agreed to fund the new facility. Two years ago we were the first canine organisation to receive lottery funding for Agility and Flyball and we have been able to prove to the Big Lottery Fund that Canine Sports increase community relations, encourage people to get active and promotes a healthy lifestyle.”
As well as providing the training classes in Rally Obedience the overall project it designed to help people of all ages and abilities take part in regular exercise and activities with their dogs, particularly those who are not able to take part in traditional sports. Gary added “Not everyone is a gym bunny, and we have been able to show the Big Lottery Fund that by involving their dogs, we have given people the opportunity to take part in an alternative form of exercise, as well as a motivation for taking part.”
It is understood that the plans were well under way, prior to The Kennel Club formally recognising Rally Obedience and included officials visiting Rally Obedience seminars last summer.
Rally Obedience is a cross between obedience and agility, with the dog and handler working together to perform exercises at signs (stations) along a course set by the judge. It is the latest Canine Sport to be recognised by The Kennel Club and the trust was particularly interested in it, as it was suitable for handlers with disabilities to take part in.
The trust which also organises the Central Bedfordshire Dog Show & Central Bedfordshire Canine Sports Games announced the funding will also help promote these events, responsible dog ownership and in particular will enable the Canine Sports Games to hold Agility, Flyball and Rally Obedience special classes for disabled handlers as well as the extra equipment and facilities (including accessible toilets) required to make the event venue welcoming and accessible to people with additional needs.
The Central Bedfordshire Dog Show in June 2013, will be attended by Her Majesties Lord Lieutenant Of Bedfordshire (who is the Queens Representative). Her Majesties Lord Lieutenant Of Bedfordshire will be accompanied by a party of MP’s, council and local dignitaries who will present a Big Lottery Fund insignia to the trust to celebrate the new funding partnership between the Central Bedfordshire Canine Trust and The Big Lottery Fund.